Thursday, July 28, 2011

Mecklenburg commissioner defends CMS

It seems much of Charlotte is suffering from whiplash this week, courtesy of the CMS budget. All the months of talk of layoffs and budget cuts turned on Tuesday into a final 2011-12 spending plan that includes enough money to add nearly 500 new school-based positions.

Mecklenburg commissioner Jim Pendergraph, who voted against giving CMS the additional $26 million it eventually got from the county, said in today's paper that the county was "snookered." This morning, his fellow commissioner, Democrat Dumont Clarke, e-mailed me to take issue with that assessment.

"I, for one, don't feel snookered at all, and I don't think I'm alone in that belief," he wrote. "I recognize how difficult it was for CMS to predict what a new (Republican) majority in the State House and Senate bent on making significant cuts to the State budget would do."

He suggested an alternative headline: "Republican County Commissioners Seize Opportunity to Take a 'Cheap Shot' at CMS"

And in other news from the week, the budget news and other developments from Tuesday's meeting overshadowed the fact that Kaye McGarry took one more swing at trying to stop House Bill 546, the performance-pay legislation that has riled teachers this year. Motions to ask the legislature to drop the bill have already been voted down several times, other board members noted. Several were visibly annoyed by McGarry's move to put it on the agenda again. They voted to remove it from the meeting agenda. The vote was 6-3, with McGarry, Richard McElrath and Joyce Waddell in the minority.

60 comments:

Wiley Coyote said...

"I, for one, don't feel snookered at all, and I don't think I'm alone in that belief," he wrote. "I recognize how difficult it was for CMS to predict what a new (Republican) majority in the State House and Senate bent on making significant cuts to the State budget would do."

Hey ummmm..Dumont?

Now you know how we, the taxpayers of Mecklenburg County feel, when we can't predict when you and your cronies will spend our tax dollars on things like the Whitewater Center, Bright Beginnings and other wasteful projects.

By the way, when are we getting our $7 million back from the WWC?

Anonymous said...

As usual, with all of the fuss about the budget, the teachers are the ones that are hurt the worst!

Rev. Mike said...

It has indeed become a strange world whne we find Kaye McGarry aligning herself with Richard McElrath and Joyce Waddell.

Anonymous said...

Is anyone surprised that Dumont Clark 'doesn't feel snookered'. He loves squandering our money!

Anonymous said...

Wow, Dumont's comment has to rank up there with some of the priceless treasures that have come out of Vilma and George's mouth

Robert "Bob" Fulton Dukes Singleton said...

Why is this a Republican vs Democratic issue? Does every single challenge we face have to get assigned like this? This is why everyone is tired and expaserated with almost everything politicians let slip from their lips. I long to hear a politician on either side of the aisle talk as if he cared about all Mecklenburg County citizens.

Anonymous said...

When will someone step up and fix this budget mess??? Maybe the law that says teachers must be notified by May 15 if they will be dismissed should be amended.

There has to be some way to align the school systems' budget and the state's budget prcocesses. It is insane to put teachers and staff through this angst year after year. Morale is already at an all-time low.

Wiley Coyote said...

Anon 2:38...

Too many buckets of money coming from multiple sources.

You would have to align the Feds, the State and Mecklenburg County.

We can't even get the Feds to align themselves as is currently evident.

It's pathetic that Dumont Clarke, a politician who really has not run for anything, blames Republicans for a mess his party helped create and the fact Democrats controlled this state for 100 years until last Novenmber.

If people want to keep blowhards like Dumont Clarke on the BOCC, by all means cry "baaa! baaa! baaa!" all the way to the polls the next time he is up for re-election.

That's what sheeple do.

Unfortunately for me, I will be moved into Vilma Leake's domain.

So as far as I am concerned, I will have no real representation.

Anonymous said...

Mecklenburg county TAXPAYERS got snookered. And some at CMS laughed about when a number of them recently at dinner out. CMS and Jennifer Roberts and others like her don't care about taxpayers. All they care about are people on the dole and illegals. But why shouldn't they. This is the people who put them back in office.

Anonymous said...

This just proves that the other six want to move PfP forward. We need to go after Tim Morgan this election cycle. He clearly does not have the employees of CMS in mind when he refuses to participate in what is clearly the right thing to do. We then need to target Eric Davis and Rhonda Lennon the next go round. PfP isn't working folks yet these fools keep insisting it moves forward.

Anonymous said...

I am sure Dumont Clark does not feel snookered since he most likely was in on the Great Lie to begin with. He may have even come up with the idea to deceive the taxpayers, although that sounded more like Jennifer's doings to me. I am also sick of whining teachers. CMS has failed in its core mission to educate, and they make this sound like a jobs program. Personally, I'd rather take the money and build bridges and repair roads that we all could benefit from. I would love to see some of the whiners actually having to physically work for their money. Actually, I'd like to see Dumont forced to dig ditches.

Anonymous said...

Which of Wilma's domains are you moving to Wiley? The corsage farm area or the Mercedes? Teachers whining is par for the course, however, the new common core curriculum will have understandable and quantifiable standards that put the responsibility squarely on parents and students. A return to rigor and relevance in academics, yet shrinking or non-existent offerings in CTE, especially in middle school. Rollout transition this year, poop or get off the pot next year. It will be interesting to see if or how CMS games this approach against the state.

Wiley Coyote said...

Anon 4:35...

It appears our precinct will move to District 2 from District 1.

The only plus side is there are more hummingbirds per capita in District 2 searching for the elusive "Leake Flower" to feed from.

Regarding teachers, I have made many comments about whiney teachers as it relates to whining about what they make, but recently thay have had a bonafide reason to be upset. It's the "I don't get paid what I'm worth" rhetoric I can't stand.

Other than that, people need to layoff blaming teachers for the sorry state of public education.

They don't make policy, as they are basically implementors of policy handed down by political and admin faciliotators.

Parents, educrats and politicians continue to drive public education into the ground.

Anonymous said...

There are good teachers and principals that get results and lousy ones who are biding their time until retirement. Testing gives you a benchmark and scorecard. Business uses them everyday. Are we gaining ground? Losing ground? Tell us how you intend to gauge learning without testing the knowledge of students. What makes people sick is that great teachers seem to cover for lousy teachers. And, it seems that some of the lousiest teachers are the loudest ones screaming about BOE setting the benchmarks in place. If we keep doing the same old things, we get the same old results...which, quite frankly have been abysmal. Hate PFP? Tell us how to benchmark, please?

BolynMcClung said...

SNOOKER IS A GAME AND CMS WASN’T PLAYING

I would be surprised if anyone outside of CMS, County leaders and the media followed the budget crisis closer than I did. I even ran a website on it. My opinion is the tactics of Dr. Pete Gorman and board chair Eric Davis were masterful. This comes from a guy who believes the schools can be run on less money.

The school system started with a plan in October, 2010 to maximize opportunities to build public opinion. I have imagined that it would have been even more successful than it was, if it hadn’t been for a visit from the NCDPI budget department in early 2011 that suggested CMS cool-it until the legislature got closer to passing something. That pause caused a more rigorous visit to Pay-for-Performance Land. The rancor encountered there resulted confusion between budget cutting and a perceived desire to replace experienced teachers.

SNOOKERED? I suppose that means the $102 million proposed cuts and then the $55 million request for additional county funding?

$102,000,000

Put this one on Bev. Perdue. She sent the letter telling all State bodies to expect 5%, 10% or 15% in cuts. Pete Gorman went with the middle number. Had he wanted to snooker anyone he’d have gone with the 15% and also predicted a cut in the county’s contribution.

$55,000,000

I wasn’t too happy about this request. You could say that it was a punt to the county on third down. Had CMS felt like it could wait for 4th when the State would finalize everything, then maybe the county could have keep its $26M. But I doubt that would have stopped the Dems on the BOCC from pushing through “rate neutral.”

THE NEAR FUTURE.

I believe the State and County will begin asking for CMS to return 2011-12 money starting in October. I don’t believe tax revenues will increase. I don’t believe the State will find in new efficiencies. There will be mid-year Reductions-in-Force.

The State isn’t going to change the preliminary budget deadlines. Next year there will be more warnings of 2012-13 teacher layoffs starting in April 2012 .

I see only one solution. Decrease the ratio of support staff to teachers and that is a deadly game. It rings of unsafe schools and disorganization. Neither promotes student achievement.


Bolyn McClung
NextSuper.com
PIneville

Anonymous said...

I don't understand why ending up with a CMS budget that keeps more teachers in classrooms amounts to being "snookered". It's almost as if there are people out there who want to see more laid off teachers and larger class sizes. I am a south Charlotte property taxpayer. I have a kid in CMS. I don't feel the outcome is a bad one.

Anonymous said...

Dumont Clark is a complete IDIOT!

ALL BOCC and Charlotte taxpayers have been "snookered" by CMS and we taxpaying citizens are tired of being "snookered" by many useless BOCC members such as Clark!

BolynMcClung said...

Reply to 5:17p

You're correct. The final deal was a victory for parents.

The snookered came from the conflict between politicians responsible for managing revenue and spending.

While Dr. Gorman, the designer of the plan that got the maximum dollars, is gone; Board Chair Eric Davis ain't no slouch when it comes to money and strategy. So, next year when this drama is replayed; look for different players but same motivation. I suspect students and parents will be protected in any new budgets going forward.

Let's hope everyone is concerned about getting max value whatever the results.

Bolyn McClung
NextSuper.com
Pineville

Anonymous said...

Anon 5:14
Teachers do not mind a benchmark to show student growth. What they do mind is the constant testing...every quarter to show what the students have learned, what needs to be re-taught, and even testing skills not even taught yet. This excessive testing takes a minimum of 20 days. Principals are evaluated on test scores and teacher surveys, so if more testing shows that their students are gaining, then let us test more. The instruction time lost to testing, reviewing testing, is insane. I would love for the school system to go to a nationally normed test that could compare our students to students across the nation. Many of the private schools do this - instead of the EOG/EOC tests. Can you imagine how much money the system could save by purchasing a test for a once a year administration instead of the quarterly tests created by CMS personal or the Gorman tests created in Durham, or the state tests......millions could be saved!

Also, PfP - teachers are going to be against this until there is something to talk about. The powers that be keep telling the teachers that the plan will not be based on one test score, but so far nothing has been developed. The teachers keep asking, what will it look like? how will it work? what will it involve? And the answer is, "trust us."

Larry said...

We have a third rail in Charlotte that has been created and is never touched and can be expanded and moved about at will by certain people. They also use the media at will.

I was recently taped on the Joyce Waddell show with about six other candidates, and the rules were only two people could answer a question after it had been asked. After three people had answered she handed it to another person after ignoring me.

This after stating at the start of her show that she had read my web site. Note how she does not make this statement to anyone else.

Be sure to watch the show as I walk off of it. When people are being unfair to all then everybody should make it a point to show that they will stand up to it.

So in this day and age we need the media to stop pandering to those who use anything but the truth.

Unless we do that then we can never blame the Kids for doing the things they do.

So go on with you straw arguments and the like but unless you start working on the real problems and stop fighting the people who are really helping, nothing will get done. Yes a lot of money will flow, but noting will get done.

Wiley Coyote said...

Status quo Larry..... Status quo...

Waddell is a big part of the problem along with the rest of the BOE.

You and I disagree on issues but you should have the same right to speak your mind and present your opinions for US to decide.

Not some self-entitled board member.

Anonymous said...

When Kaye McGarry decided not to run again, there is NO ONE seated on the Board of Education that deserves the vote of ANY Mecklenburg County resident! None of them are good stewards of the tax payers dollar. None of them listen to teachers, parents, researchers(if they do not agree with the CMS powerbrokers), and especially the students. Who are they elected to serve? They are not proceeding with providing a sound vocational educational curriculum to provide an educated workforce to attract industry. They refuse to take away calculators and teach basic math necessary to provide a sound basis for progress in this technical world for creating a literate workforce. JUST why are these folks left to pontificate especially those that should have never been elected in the first place. Wake up Mecklenburg...Smarten up and elect folks not pushed by the Chamber....ie, Tim Morgan, Elyse deShaw, and others to be named later. Morgan is only running County wide because he KNOWS that District 6 has seen the light and would not re-elect him....Is that implying that District 6 is smarter than all of the rest of Mecklenburg County? Think about it...

Anonymous said...

Why would you go on a show with Joyce Waddell, pray tell? Even if you are running?
Bolyn, are the parents and students really winners when so many taxpayers feel that they are getting the short end of the stick when it comes to CMS or feel so negatively about all aspects of the system? Are the parents and students in Davidson, Cornelius and Huntersville really winners when they are get so few resources compared to, say, West Charlotte? How about the parents in south Charlotte? If parents and taxpayers don't feel like the system is fair, how long will it take CMS to wind up like Memphis? You know, that city where the schools were in danger of not opening this fall because all the people of affluence who live in the Memphis School District send their kids to Christian Brothers or First Evan, and the rest have moved into the Shelby County district or to Mississippi, leaving nobody who actually pays taxes except those who are employed by it to give a darned about supporting a failing school system.
Until CMS is seen as an honest broker that is fair to all children, this is where I think it three years, I have come to feel as the taxpayers in Memphis must feel about now...that it's a lost cause.

Larry said...

7:58 That is the way the game is played in Charlotte/Mecklenburg.

If you do not go to the Tuesday Morning Breakfast thing held by Sarah Stevenson over at the West Side place paid for by tax payers. Or the several meetings that are now scheduled by the specialized groups who just happen to be African American at present.

Or the Ballentyne Breakfast thing then you end up in the media as not wanting to meet with people and there you go. Remember in any race the media wants to define you before you define yourself. I know as an Internet Activist and as a person who makes the Observer laugh.

Oh and my getting a thousand dollar request from the NAACP for a dinner to honor people who had done some things for a small segment of the population was not intended as vote buying, I am sure it was just them using the mailing list to all the candidates and some of them will have the funds to send to them.

Anonymous said...

It should not come as a surprise that Kaye McGarry has aligned herself with Richard McElrath and Joyce Waddell, contrary to what another person said on this blog.

These three board members have one thing in common in their background: they are former teachers. And large numbers of teachers don't like pay for performance because it increases accountability and threatens job security.

Look around and you can find existing and former teachers who realize that ignoring performance in teacher pay and retention is bad for kids. Coach White is a good example of this.

Anonymous said...

Larry,
Welcome to the new reality of Urban reverse discrimination. Mr. Wabbit probably knows of the end of diversity in administration at some of the Westside schools in the name of turf defense. When the pie is pretty much in three pieces, one group wants the pan, the pie and one fork. No knife necessary. It was the good ol' boy network for centuries, now the sorority sister, rainbow coalition, and newbies are running the show for better or otherwise. Kaye, McElrath, and Waddell as a rebellious triumvirate was a reasonable response from three former teachers knowledgeable about the bogus construction of the evaluation document now being used as retribution punishment. How does it feel to be Kojoed Larry?

Larry said...

8:47 PM: Actually I do not look at it from that point of view, instead I see it is just attention from a group which has been the focus of our entire society and especially our education system for the last fifty or sixty years.

They still need the special attention as it has been very financially profitable for certain subgroups, even while the major benefactors who needed the help the most themselves, the Children, have suffered the most.

So when people try to change the system those in the do not wade in the cash stream or we will use our media contacts bury you come forth.

I am working with groups who are bypassing those groups and getting things done in this country. Have everyone you know go to www.TestOurKids.com and see how well CMS has done for your Child. It is free and be sure to do the test with your Child.

BolynMcClung said...

To Anonymous 7:58PM asked. . . . .

“..are the parents and students really winners when so many taxpayers feel that they are getting the short end of the stick when it comes to CMS or feel so negatively about all aspects of the system?”

SHORT END OF THE STICK

The heart of the question is imbalanced funding caused by Weighted Student Staffing. Its embryo is reliance on the USDA’s Free and Reduced Lunch Program.

I’m one who believes FRL is a good nutritional program. It was created after so many unfit men from rural areas were rejected for service in WWII. Later The Great Society changed it to what it is now. FRL is also one heck of an agriculture subsidy program, but that’s another story.

CMS says families that successfully apply for FRL are likely to have children suffering from the effects of early childhood poverty. Even if a FRL child is a certified Einstein, CMS credits his school a 25% premium over a non-economically disadvantage child. That is the true waste in the system.

But a second waste, and this is the one that many overburdened taxpayers note, is there isn’t a like return on the 25% premium. Here’s the blaring example from the recent state test results.

For American History, African-American students were outdone by Hispanics and Asians. The greater part of that history is focused on post Civil War Black issues. How could this happen? This is the one subject their parents should be able to provide home study support.

BUT THE QUESTION WAS ABOUT HOW PARENTS WERE WINNERS IN THIS BUDGET.

The question was really that so many “feel” they are not winners. I don’t see a big difference between the 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 school year resources. Certainly k-3 maintain the status-quo. Middle school sports did well. High school classes weren’t winners but having lived through the era when baby boomers over-filled classrooms, even to the point of half-days, I don’t feel the class-size angst thing.

In November 2010, Dr. Gorman had his doubts about what affect the 2011-2012 budget cuts might have on the 2014 achievement goals. I think his worries will partially come true. But nonetheless, the final budget was a winner. It squeezed out every available penny. What I’m concerned about are the years to follow.

I have little hope for a restoration of funding in the subsequent years. That I have written about elsewhere in the paper. It’s possible that our little funding victory this year will be remembered as the last.

Bolyn McClung
NextSuper.com
Pineville

Wiley Coyote said...

Anon 8:30...

Diversity died years ago. The definition has been so bastardized it means nothing anymore.

Reagrding the Westside, a perfect example of the race card being played is by the new Executive Director of Project LIFT.

Ms. Watts had the audacity to state this:

I feel morally and professionally obligated to work towards ending the dual system of education based on a child's zip code."

What planet is this person living on?

She shoots a hole in her own mission statement because she's doing exactly that - spending $55 million dollars on 8 schools that are in different zipcodes than just as deserving students in the zipcodes that make up the Waddell and West Meck feeder schools.

Waddell had a lower graduation rate than West Charlotte and only a few points less than West Meck.

I'm still scratching my head as to what "dual system of education" she's referring to.

Anonymous said...

Anon. 8:30 - "And large numbers of teachers don't like pay for performance because it increases accountability and threatens job security."

I disagree with this statement. The thing teachers don't like about Pay for Performance is the way it is being handled; e.g., the legislation CMS quietly drew up and had Ruth Samuelson introduce to exempt CMS from including teachers in approval of the process.

Whether teachers keep their jobs should be determined by the whole picture, not just what students do on one test on one day. If your career were being judged solely on one component of your work but you knew there were other relevant factors that were ignored, you wouldn't like it either.

Good teachers welcome the opportunity to show what they can do.

Anonymous said...

To Bolyn:
Thank you for your answer. I hope you are right; I hope this 2011-12 funding fiasco is the last. Unless CMS can prove that there is some real correlation between that 25% premium and "closing the achievement gap," I will continue to oppose this funding formula and CMS. As to the African American history stats. why should that segment care about their race's history? Many African Americans have used the education advantages they've been afforded to move into the middle class. They have my utmost respect. Those that haven't taken advantage of those opportunities either lack the mental capability or the desire. It appears they would much rather go to the mall, buy a Coach bag with their welfare check and watch Jerry Springer on their flat screen TV. I am all for seeing that any child achieves any education level he/she desires; I am not for continuing to throw good money after bad on a segment of society that seems to enjoy being economically dependent on others.

Wiley Coyote said...

Bolyn...

There is no question the school lunch program is a "noble program" to help those TRULY, that's the operative word - TRULY in need.

The poverty levels in Mecklenburg County are around 14%, which pretty much mirrors the national level yet 60% of school age kids are on the school lunch program.

We all know there is a huge amount of fraud going on in the program but no one dares stick their neck out to question it.

Then there's the trickle down waste attached to an FRL designation in the way of FREE sports, FREE AP/IB tests and student funding by school.

What's even more unconscionable is the USDA is testing a pilot program in Chicago, where schools that are currently at 40% or higher FRL, the remaining students get to eat for FREE.

June 20, 201

By Monica Eng and Tara Malone, Tribune reporters

Any school in Illinois where at least 40 percent of students are needy will be able to serve free meals to all children, regardless of family income, starting this fall as part of a pilot program offered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.


Regarding the data put out on scores, I find it interesting that Hispanics did better than Blacks, which means that elusive "achievement gap" educrats and politicians have been trying to close between Whites and Blacks for decades hasn't worked.

Anonymous said...

To Wiley:
As to the data on test scores where hispanics did better than blacks, it begs the question as to "why?" I have black friends and acquaintances who have achieved far more educationally and career-wise than I have. They are more knowledgeable about many things than I could ever hope to be. So, I will dare to say the unspeakable: Are those who haven't achieved and do not close the achievement gap simply incapable of doing so from an IQ standpoint? If so, we as a society should have that frank discussion so that people like me can stop resenting them and their lifestyles and accept and appreciate them for what they can realistically contribute. I think there is much resentment simply because of failure to meet expectations that have been foisted upon us by "educators" and politicians. And, it is unfair to children to make them feel like failures because of unrealistic expectations. Perhaps that is the root of the crime and other types of self destructive behavior.

Wiley Coyote said...

Anon 10{43..

I do not believe for a second that IQ has anything to do with it and to even suggest that smacks of Jim Crowism.

One could argue that some whites in Mecklenburg County have low IQ's because they keep electing Bill James to the BOCC.

I believe lack of parental involvement, generational reliance on government entitlements and a lack of focus from groups like the NAACP on the issues within the Black community year after year that contribute greatly to the ongoing issues Blacks face in education.

There is a great story on the Your Schools page about an exeptional student that defied the potential for failure because of where he lives as reported here by Eric Frazier:

Antonette Love, a single parent, kept him focused on learning and out of harm's way in the troubled neighborhood they call home. Hidden Valley, in northeast Charlotte, has had high-profile struggles with crime, drugs and gangs.

The Hidden Valley Kings, one of Charlotte's most notorious drug-dealing gangs, has operated out of the neighborhood. Twenty members were sentenced to prison in December 2008.


Read more: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2011/07/26/2481506/passion-for-learning-math-leads.html#ixzz1TSXpPLh9

You should read it.

This story is a prime example of why excuses must be eliminated and the level of personal responsibility needs to be demanded from all students and parents from all ethnic groups in CMS.

Khallid Love is an excellent role model for all students.

Anonymous said...

Wiley, thank you for your post. I hope you are correct and that the child in Hidden Valley becomes the rule and not the exception. So, how does the problem get resolved? Black politicians and liberal democrats have absolute tantrums when somebody suggests eliminating entitlements on which you say generations of non-achieving blacks have come to rely. The NAACP is ineffective and self-serving and black churches seem too cowardly to address the issue of lack of personal responsibility. And, while there may be the isolated incident of the child in Hidden Valley, this county cannot afford to spend this kind of money to potentially lift a handful of kids a year out of poverty. I don't hear anybody taking Vilma or Jennifer on and telling them what you just told me. By their silence, people seem to be agreeing with them. And, so, people like me just want to give up on them.

Anonymous said...

I'll buy the low IQ argument for the performance gap just to get things moving again.

Forget about trying to prepare those gappy-headed kids for college and put them in a trade school.

Now, let's focus on the smart kids for a change.

The rest of the world isn't standing still while we keep trying to fix our lowest achievers.

Anonymous said...

I read about Khalid Love.

That doesn't mean all the other kids have the same potential.

There are geniuses born in the slums of India, too.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Srinivasa_Ramanujan

That says nothing about all the other kids.

Wiley Coyote said...

Anon 12:35...

I think the problems are many but the one big thing that needs to be done is acknowledge the ways of the past 40 years have not worked.

We have pumped billions into high poverty, low performing schools with little success.

If you go back over the past 10 to 15 years and look at what CMS has said they have done, never do you read any negative comments.

It's always positive and that they are "closing the achievement gap", no matter if it was under Eric Smith or Gorman and everyone inbetween.

If your gap in math is 39 points and over 6 years you gain 10 points to get to a 24 point gap (retests gain 5 more points), you have a LONG way to go to get where you need to be at 95% parity.

Is that acceptable? Why is it that for all that time, Whites are the benchmark and continue to maintain that level of proficiency?

Yes, technically you're closing the gap, but at that rate, it's going to take another 12 to 15 years to catch Whites at 95% proficiency.

Until we as Americans demand that all excuses be eliminated and that education is serious business and parents need to treat it that way and get politicians OUT of the business of education, we'll continue to crawl along and try to reach achievement gap utopia.

Wiley Coyote said...

Anon 1:07..

I believe you missed the point.

Regardless of whether Khallid is a "genius" is a moot point.

The story is about making it through the forces outside his house and the fact he had strong parental guidance within the home.

Every child DOES have the same potential to be successful, whether they are a genius at math, science, history, art or whatever they decide to do in life.

The world is out there. Schools are out there waiting for students to release their potential.

If they don't have the will and/or their parents don't give a damn and just expect schools to babysit their children for 13 years, then they become the "other kids" we all will have to support through life.

Anonymous said...

Bolyn, Larry, and Wiley,
As you and most most teachers from the pre Relic (Peter) will remember, we've had waves of immigrants in the 60's, 70's, and 80's. I've had Hmong, Vietnamese, Afghani, Peruvian, Nigerian, Thai and tens of other ethnic groups in my classroom over the last 35 years. Two factors have always driven most of them to succeed; family support(you will succeed!)and work ethic. Black and White Americans incapacitated by technology and peer market distractions keep falling further behind. Concentrate on those that have the desire and send the rest to Nicki Haley's Lt. Governor.

Anonymous said...

In Charlotte we have a very active group of white "limousine liberals" who love to tell the black community that they are oppressed and mistreated by the school system. They rail in front of the school board, using terms like "apartheid" to describe the assignment system. They throw out the term "resegregation" with great regularity. They often are provided a forum by The Observer and, thanks to that, for years were able to get away with their claim that inner city schools were crumbling and underfunded while suburban schools were Taj Mahals. I doubt that many middle class blacks are listening to them but they continue to find an audience at the Tuesday Morning Breakfast forum, the NAACP, and through the League of Women Voters, etc. As long as these folks are giving people excuses, albeit false excuses, I'm afraid that little is going to change.

Larry said...

I, and from the distribution list, all those running and on the school board got this email sent to them. I when to the site and not once did I find where it mentions the Chamber.

I just wish they would be more transparent as they were the ones who stopped our efforts along with the Foundation for the Carolinas back in 2005 by sending a rep to Raleigh saying how great our Schools were when we went begging for help.

Dear Board of Education candidates: Congratulations on your at-large candidacies.

As your campaigns get underway, we are writing to make sure you are all aware of OUR campaign. “Educating Change” is designed to inform Mecklenburg County residents about initiatives within Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools’ Strategic Plan 2014 and the Board’s approved Theory of Action to accelerate academic gains, close achievement gaps, increase the graduation rate, and otherwise retool to improve our public schools.

Education reform is of high interest among local residents, and will no doubt be a high-profile election issue. We encourage you to visit our campaign website -- www.EducatingChangeNow.org -- and hope the information there will be helpful as you formulate positions and engage voters. Be assured that our intent is strictly to inform citizens about CMS’ efforts, not to advocate for support of any kind.

Please let us know if you have any questions or comments. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Regards,

Karen Price
Project Manager, Educating Change
Karen@EducatingChangeNow.org


Oh if you are wondering how I understand the Chamber must be involved a story in the Observer stated it and Karen Price is also a Project Manager at the Chamber. You can Google her but be sure to put in Charlotte or you will get some wow pictures.

Larry said...

7:34 I am sure you are not saying just because our community comes up with 50 million for just a small segment of our students that we have a group doing it so they can sit in the luxury of the County Clubs, and say look at us, and the media will treat them and their business interests kindly?

Why that would be pandering.

No, we have plenty of people in Charlotte working everyday in the Challenged neighborhoods for free just because it is the right thing to do.

I know that when we had the Private Police to stop crime for a Summer in Optimist Park, it worked but we could not get that program off the ground, even though it only costs us around 25 thousand, but such as thing happen when you are just an average person donating and not a large group.

But the nice thing is that the old we are leading you by making you still believe you are victims case is disappearing slowly and we just need to make sure we quit funding any of the vestiges of it.

Anonymous said...

Interesting question: either we take the approach that minorities are so disadvantaged 50 years after MLK that they are inherently inferior and we need to bend all efforts to help them because they are inferior. This "victim" mindset just sets them up to become wards of the state forever (what's happening now). No, I think we need to say that people are people - green, purple, white, black and yellow - and all can learn. Some kids just grow up in a single parent or no parent household and never get any discipline. These are the parents who allow their 12 year olds to roam downtown Charlotte at 2 a.m. Of all of the kids, we just need to lay down the option. Assimilate, show good behavior, do the work and learn or be assigned to a trade school or alternative school. The aspiration should be to help all those who want to learn reach their zenith. Not be be babysitters and behavior cops.

Anonymous said...

CMS is moving out of many schools leasing them to community groups because of lack of funding according to CMS planning. Concurrently, the County Board is giving CMS over $60 million tax dollars to build new schools? Snookered is past tense. Is the plan?

Anonymous said...

First I've heard about building new schools...where, when????

Anonymous said...

County issued $69,000,000 to CMS July 12 according to county website. Not news?
http://www.charmeck.org/mecklenburg/county/BOCC/Meetings/Agendas/Documents/0712/July122011-06a1-.pdf

Anonymous said...

I was at the school board when they decided to ask for the county for additional money, but it was to fund the bottom tiers of the cuts. Where and when will new school be built? I've heard nothing about the construction you're talking about.

Anonymous said...

Anon. 2:53, your link states that this money was, "APPROVED NOVEMBER 6, 2007 REFERENDUM" and the list of projects if for renovations. It does say, "... including the acquisition and construction of new facilities, the improvement and expansion of existing facilities and the acquisition and installation of furnishings and equipment and the acquisition of interests in real property required therefor, in order to provide additional school facilities in said County to maintain the nine months' school term as required by Section 2 of Article IX of the North Carolina Constitution, $69,020,000 is hereby appropriated." So is this old money or new?

Wiley Coyote said...

The County holds onto the money.

This should be a wakeup call to voters the next time CMS cries wolf about needing large sums of bond money to build schools.

Here it is almost 2012 and we haven't spent money from 2007.

http://wfae.org/wfae/1_87_115.cfm?action=display&id=7593

Not only does that frustrate Davis he says it's also not in keeping with the priorities voters were promised when they approved the bond money in 2007. Davis doubts the county will reconsider its building plans this year, but the school board will discuss its options tomorrow night.

Larry said...

Speaking of not spending money when they should have: How about this amusing story of Clear Creek.

The had not used the bond money for renovations and used the loop hole they use to wait. So when they finally got around to the millions in repairs, the work did not even bring it up to base line standards or increase the capacity.

We showed them that for a few million more they could put a new school right behind the old one and give twice the capacity of the already over capacity school. Plus it would take the community along for fifty or so years.

They said they would have to go back to the taxpayers and Guy the head of the department said that would never happen on his watch.

So now they make a few changes inside the old school a couple of years ago, and it is over crowded and most likely will need to be replaced in a few years after spending all those millions.

They need to send the entire construction staff of CMS to CPCC for a year and get them up to date on how to save money and do things right.

Anonymous said...

Didn't Midwood just have a major renovation for several millions of tax dollars? CMS won't even use it. Wasn't Davidson on the Bond? Now it is being leased, but not for profit? Does anyone follow the CMS tax and spend planning shuffle? $60,000,000 tax dollars should be fixing a lot of problems.

Anonymous said...

Now you might understand why CMS is opening loads of trailer classrooms Gorman ordered closed. Planing for the next Bond. School planning does not happen at schools.

Wiley Coyote said...

Interesting thing about eliminating busing.

CMS finally had to manage and since then, they've done a lousy job of it.

No longer could they redraw lines to suit their agendas, bus students to achieve some sort of integration utopia under the guise of "diversity", which in the end, never worked.

CMS was forced to retrofit a system they could no longer use busing to populate.

Crying of the need for more schools, which in some cases we needed but like Waddell, built in the wrong place or were over capacity before they opned AND built in the wrong place like Mtn. Island Elementary which is land-locked.

Asking for hundreds of millions in bond monies, some finally approved but as yet unspent.

After all that, even with "growth", we could close 10 schools?

Aesop's Fable of the Boy Who Cried Wolf should be required reading for the next superintendent.

Larry said...

Actually I am asking all those who have students in Home Schools, Private Schools, Charter Schools and send them to family to live in good schools in other States, to call CMS and ask them which school their child will be attending this Fall?

Yes I know you will not be sending them to CMS but read on.

That way the System will then see the numbers of students they have under served all these years and chased away as they had choices.

Just like I am going to give to those remaining Parents and Students.

This way they can see that they need to make changes before the competition really hits them in the very near future and become a learning facility and not a drop out factory.

And remember they do say they are an Urban System so the suburbs are an afterthought.

Anonymous said...

Hey Ann,

In years past, there has been lots of EOG/EOC data; broken down by school, subject, grade, demographics, etc.

This year CMS has not released any of that data.

Could you please get it for us?

Thanks! The info released to the public is not enough. I thought that l would be able to comb through the data, but it's not enough to sneeze at.

Anonymous said...

11:45 pm--It's possible that the state rather than CMS has not yet released the more complete data. It seems to me that in years past it has taken a while for all the information you are seeking to be released. The state may still be doing micro data crunching.

Anonymous said...

http://www.ncpublicschools.org/accountability/reporting/abc/2010-11/

http://abcs.ncpublicschools.org/abcs/


Not what you're asking for but some supplemental information that may be useful. I'm thinking that at one time scores by school were available on the DPI site. Not sure why I can't find them now....

Anonymous said...

You can see detailed NC Report Cards for individual schools at http://www.ncreportcards.org/src/, but this page is not yet showing 2010-2011 info. 2009-2010 is the latest. As I said above, I think it takes a while for the state to release all info.

Anonymous said...

Thanks y'all for the info.

I don't know if you all recall this, but Gorman used to release data disaggregated to the nth degree and posted it on the CMS website. I loved it!

Jeez, I NEVER thought that I would say this, but I miss Gormie's onslaught of data.